The Discovery Institute and David Coppedge

Remember the David Coppedge case? It’s been three years since we wrote The David Coppedge Case: It’s Over.

Coppedge, a creationist, claimed he was wrongfully demoted and later fired by his employer because he was promoting Intelligent Design (ID) on the job. He used to work as a computer technician for Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which is part of Caltech. He also maintained a creationist website — Creation-Evolution Headlines.

The Discovery Institute was strongly backing Coppedge — see Discoveroids on Coppedge: Congress Should Act. Fortunately, their efforts all failed. We thought we’d never hear about Coppedge again, but the Discoveroids seem unwilling to let the matter drop. Today at their creationist blog they just posted World Magazine Tells David Coppedge’s Powerful Story.

World Magazine often has articles favorable to the Discoveroids, so we know what to expect from them. This review of the World article was written by David Klinghoffer, a Discoveroid “senior fellow” (i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist), who eagerly functions as their journalistic slasher and poo flinger. We’ll give you a few excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis.

I had the privilege of getting to know David Coppedge a few years ago, leading up to the shameful resolution of his 2012 discrimination case against NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. His story is among those that remind us intelligent design isn’t only a scientific issue but one with serious civil rights implications as well.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We’ll overlook the claim that intelligent design is a scientific issue; but what about the claim that it also has civil rights implications? Perhaps it does, if one has a very strained definition of “civil rights.” We think the Discoveroids’ case for that is far weaker than the case of those who want free access to the bathrooms of any gender. Anyway, that was a great introduction. Then Klinghoffer says:

In brief, the mild-mannered team lead computer administrator on the Cassini Mission to Saturn was viciously [Hee hee!] punished by JPL supervisors. His offense? Sharing information about ID, all in the most respectful, appropriate manner. Now his persecution [Hee hee!] and its aftermath are recounted in a moving article in World Magazine (“After a fiery trial”).

We won’t bother linking to the World article. Let’s read on:

I’m glad to have stayed in touch with Coppedge since the court case in Los Angeles, so I’m familiar with some of what’s related here. To call his experiences dramatic is an understatement.

After a big excerpt from the World article, Klinghoffer continues:

There ensues the court battle, punctuated by mysterious debilitating headaches, a struggle with cancer, spiritual trial and renewal, even a near-deadly encounter with a flying insect.

We didn’t know about the encounter with a flying insect. Here’s more:

This is a remarkably resilient man. On top of everything else, his Facebook feed, which I follow, demonstrates his remarkable gifts as a nature photographer and his daring as an outdoorsman and adventurer across the wildernesses of the West.

What a guy! The end of Klinghoffer’s post is, well, a bit strange:

His story has a happy ending, but then so does the Book of Job.

It seems that Coppedge is happy. Having defeated his claims in court, Jet Propulsion Laboratory is happy too. And so is your Curmudgeon, because we never dreamed that we’d have an opportunity to post about Coppedge again.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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10 responses to “The Discovery Institute and David Coppedge

  1. Charles Deetz ;)

    Wait a couple years and it will be SAINT David.

  2. “…a near-deadly encounter with a flying insect.” What, a bee sting? (The poor bee died!) Or maybe Ebola virus from a mosquito?

  3. docbill1351

    Klinkletinkle really blew up the Truth-o-Meter on this one! Every sentence contains at least one lie or distortion. Truly a remarkable piece of prevarication and propaganda.

    In the real world, old Coppers is what we referred to as a Royal Pain in the [edited out]! Coppers bugged (ha, see what I did there?) people incessantly. What the lying Klappertrapper calls “most respectful” was actually a constant barrage of unwanted, inappropriate interactions to the point that HR was brought in to warn Coppers to “back off.” He didn’t.

    But that’s not why he lost his job. Nope, the Cassini was on track for a 40% reduction in workforce because the project was winding down. And they were switching to a new server system for which Coppers had refused and avoided training on, while his co-worker had taken the classes and come up to speed. They only needed one administrator so guess who they chose?

    In court, Coppers defense was this: Coppers was an IDiot. JPL viewed IDiocy as religious. JPL fired Coppers for being an IDiot. But, ah ha!, according to Coppers and the Disco Tute IDiocy is NOT religious. Therefore, JPL was guilty of religious discrimination because they believed IDiocy was religious and fired Coppers for being an IDiot.

    The judge saw right through this contorted ball of navel lint, ignored it all, focused on the facts of the case (the 40% RIF and Copper’s lack of qualifications) and ruled that JPL had acted appropriately, within their own HR guidelines and within the law. Case closed.

  4. I’m a retired JPL software designer and, while the problems with this nut occurred after I left the Lab, I still have friends there. They assure me that this guy’s entreaties were impossible to fend off and that he wasted a LOT of their time. The people I know at the Lab say he got got what he deserved!

  5. Coppedge was actually abused more by the creationists than by JPL in my opinion. There really is no case there, but sensing a soapbox creationists gave him hope when there really wasn’t a very good case. Coppedge ended up pitching in for his legal fees to the tune of $30,000, money I’m sure that could have been put to better use.
    Of course Coppedge, being a creationist, did the same sort of thing. He used his affiliation with JPL-NASA to suggest he was doing actual science and by commutation that creation science was legit.
    I’m not too surprised it’s getting a second run. There seems to be less and less going on for creationists, and everything is the same old retreated arguments and stories.

  6. “…this guy’s entreaties were impossible to fend off and that he wasted a LOT of their time. ”

    NOW that was the real story that I thought I was reading between the lines when the trial was being reported on. I had a hunch the testimony was actually severely understating the real problem. Such people, no matter how noble their pet cause is, can cause serious problems, not only to their fellow employees, but their company’s bottom line!

  7. His picture on the Loon site resembles Michael Behe I think. Maybe their brains are similar as well. Perhaps their deity made them Bobsy Twins.

  8. Like the picture of him with the “spacy” stuff in the background since all he was was a computer tech.

  9. Eric Lipps

    There ensues the court battle, punctuated by mysterious debilitating headaches, a struggle with cancer, spiritual trial and renewal, even a near-deadly encounter with a flying insect.

    Brace yourselves for creationists’ coming claims (if they haven’t started already) that the headaches, the cancer and the near-deadly encounter with a flying insect (Mothra?) were all engineered by evil-utionists to incapacitate or kill a heroic defender of the Bible.